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5 Ways to Make Your Home Accessible to All

Here are some ideas that will make your home a safe place for everyone

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If you are living with a differently-abled or elderly relative, you have to make sure that they don’t feel limited in their own home. With a few well-thought-out tweaks, you can make your house friendlier and more accessible to them. Universal Design is a concept wherein a space is designed to accommodate and access everyone safely and comfortably, regardless of age, ability, or mobility. Universal Design should be implemented at home. Here are some design tweaks that you can try:

Main photos from: Howdens and MECC Interiors.

Doors

Change your doorknobs to lever-like door handles (instead of round ones) that are easier to open by the elderly and those who have limited motor capabilities with their hands. You may also consider adding a clear glass panel to kitchen doors and other high-traffic entrances to avoid accidentally slamming into someone.

Photos from Howdens and Thrifty Decor Chick.

Bathroom

Make bath time easier by installing railings or grab bars that can withstand heavy weights. Consider having a bench built near the shower or buy a sturdy, non-skid, waterproof seat. Choose a detachable showerhead to make washing easier. Always install unglazed ceramic tiles on the floor to minimize falls. Finally, install a sink that is low enough for people in wheelchairs to use.

Photo from Lushome.

Kitchen

Wheelchair-assisted people who love to cook would appreciate lower countertops and leg space beneath. Make sure that your kitchen is wide and spacious enough for a wheelchair to move around. Buy stoves that have front knobs for easier access. Place appliances within wheelchair level, so baking or heating food via a microwave will be a breeze.

Photo from MECC Interiors.

Bedroom

Choose lower dressers and low-hanging racks to make dressing up easier. A large space around the bed will make it easier to move from the wheelchair to the bed. Instead of a desk, build a ledge large enough to be an office desk or study table, with plenty of leg space and with a lower height. Make sure that you also install power outlets within easy reach.

Photo from Atlanta Home Improvement.

Garden

Create raised flower and plant beds like this one. Measure the height and width properly to make sure that your wheelchair-assisted relative would be able to reach around easily. Again, ensure that there is enough space beneath the bed and around it for the wheelchair to move. Place a ramp near the door if the threshold is higher than the floor of your backyard. Remember to place gardening tools within their easy reach.

Photo from Telegraph.

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